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KCL Handball Look to Continue their Sudden Rise in Varsity

Logo courtesy of KCLSU

Staff writer Sam Lord previews the chances of one of the recent nominees for the KCLSU’s ‘Best New Group’ Award.

King’s College London’s (KCL’s) handball team has enjoyed an inspiring come-up story since their formation only last year. The team have enjoyed a successful season so far, largely owing to their growth over the previous year. The club has seen their number of players double, reaching around 30 in total. Club President Carmen says that “more players naturally bring in more talent, and it’s been a positive boost for us!”

She also underlined that the addition of two professional coaches has elevated the quality of training sessions and games. “Their feedback has been invaluable so far.” She adds that “in a fast-paced sport that is handball, real-time input and strategic analysis are key, Manon and Fanny [the two new coaches] bring that to the table”.

What was her moment of the season so far? “Our team moved up a league this year, so the standout moment for us this season has probably been winning the first round of BUCS”. BUCS is the British Universities and Colleges Sport tournament. Carmen did admit that the second round had proven more challenging for the team, with them failing to qualify for nationals. Though she stressed, ‘”it stands out as a highlight for our team, as this experience truly showcased our team spirit, determination and skills”.

She recalls a positive start with an overwhelming win against Kent (18-5), but they faced challenges in their game against AECC University College. Holding their ground well and going in at half time neck-and-neck, they ultimately lost 7-16. Their final game against Oxford was also tight, but ended with a narrow 10-9 defeat. “Despite the final result, I think we can definitely be proud of our performance throughout the whole round. These moments, win or lose, have shaped our season and been standout moments!”

Their impressive team spirit has been reinforced beyond competitions. Socials, activities outside handball and fundraising for the Malala Fund and Cancer Research UK have all brought the team closer. Carmen is very proud of these new elements to the club. “These shared experiences have translated into improved cohesion and communication on the field. Coupled with the great training methods led by our new coaches, our team now exhibits a more synchronised and dynamic performance, which reflects the positive evolution we’ve undergone this season!”

King’s had snatched a close win in last year’s Varsity competition, coming out 22-21 winners. The team are coming up with a new plan to repeat the trick this year. “We’re planning on being more efficient concerning player positions and substitution strategies”, says Carmen. She also reiterated her belief that the club’s new coaches will be a ‘game-changer’ this year. “Varsity is definitely not ‘just another game’ for us. Especially since we’re not going to BUCS Nationals, we are 100% focused on the next big game, and that is Varsity… Our focus is unwavering, and we are committed to training with rigour to ensure our best performance!”

You can watch KCL Women’s Handball at 15:30 on Sunday 17 March at the London Met University Sports Hall.

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